FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Bob Dylan and America’s 70-Year Nuclear Nightmare

In an interview with Rolling Stone, singer Bob Dylan said, “[The U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima] showed that indiscriminate killing and indiscriminate homicide on a mass level was possible, whereas if you look at warfare up until that point, you had to see somebody to shoot them or maim them, you had to look at them. You don’t have to do that anymore.”

I thought Bob Dylan’s statement was profound. In America, we’ve always had war and all kinds of related evils, but with Hiroshima we crossed the line with this new demonic power and an insane preparation that allows us to destroy the entire planet. It is like we said to God, “What it took you 15 billion years to make, we can destroy in 15 minutes.”

America has never dealt with the consequences of our actions. We, as a people, have never talked deeply about how we vaporized more than 100,000 human beings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It seems we are numb or maybe we are mindless with collective insanity as we have continuously allowed our government to go on creating even more nuclear weapons to vaporize more people.

The 70th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki invites us to reflect anew on our global predicament and what we can do to create a new disarmed world of peace. Most people on the planet have never lived without the threat of nuclear weapons. We’re all used to them now. They’re part of life, part of the landscape, part of our reality. There’s nothing we can do about it, we’re told.

By 1968 America had over 32,000 nuclear weapons. Today we have some 7,200 nuclear weapons on alert, ready to end civilization at a moment’s notice.

Since Hiroshima, America has spent over $5.5 trillion building nuclear weapons. Two years ago, the U.S. Congress quietly approved a bill to spend another $1 trillion over the next 30 years to upgrade our nuclear arsenal. With that vote, America is now building state of the art nuclear uranium plants in Kansas City and Oak Ridge, upgrading Trident subs and Livermore Labs, and at Los Alamos, the birthplace of the bomb, and they are building a state of the art plutonium bomb factory.

Everything today finds its roots in Hiroshima, which means the whole world of suffering and violence is connected to Los Alamos – from Auschwitz to Vietnam to Iraq to Afghanistan to Haiti to ISIS to Al Qaeda to Ferguson, to Sandy Hook and to Charleston, South Carolina. It’s all connected.

Remember what Mahatma Gandhi said shortly after the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima: “We have seen the physical effects of the atomic bomb on the Japanese people, but it is too early to see the spiritual effects on the people who made and used the bomb, the Americans.”

That’s what we are living through today – the dire spiritual consequences of what we did to Hiroshima and Nagasaki; as well as the effects of building thousands of nuclear weapons since then, and threatening time and again to use them on our “enemies.”

Here in New Mexico where I live, Los Alamos is a given. We’re told that it provides jobs, that it protects the nation, and that it is a source of national pride. I am not fooled. I know the sole purpose of Los Alamos is to continue to prepare the weapons that can kill millions of men, women and children without Americans ever having to look at them.

More articles by:

John Dear is an American Catholic priest nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. He has been arrested more than 75 times in acts of nonviolent civil disobedience against war, injustice, and nuclear weapons.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

April 18, 2019
Gerald Sussman
RussiaGate is Dead! Long Live Russiagate!
Lance Olsen
Perverse Housing Policy Perverts Forest Policy
Richard Ward
All Will be Punished
Jonathan Cook
Annexation of West Bank May Provide Key to Unlocking Netanyahu’s Legal Troubles
Judith Deutsch
People Music: Malignant Phallic Narcissism v. Being Ordinary
Jan Oberg
The Iran Floods and US Sanctions: 10 Million at Risk, But Who Cares?
Manuel E. Yepe
Assange: Between Gratitude and Betrayal
Ralph Nader
Children’s Moral Power Can Challenge Corporate Power on Climate Crisis
ADRIAN KUZMINSKI
Your Check is in the Mail
Binoy Kampmark
The European Union and Refugees in the Mediterranean
Arnold R. Isaacs
Looking Back at 1919: Immigration, Race, and Women’s Rights, Then and Now
Andrew Moss
Immigration and the Shock Doctrine
Michael Howard
Assange and the Cowardice of Power
Jesse Jackson
Making Wall Street Pay for the Financial Crisis
Mel Gurtov
At Risk—the Idea of America
April 17, 2019
James Bovard
Washington’s Biggest Fairy Tale: “Truth Will Out”
Yoav Litvin
The Ilhan Omar Gambit: Anti-Semitism as a Reactionary Political Tool
Evaggelos Vallianatos
Hawai’i in Trouble
Vijay Prashad
To Ola Bini, a Political Prisoner Caught Up in the Assange Debacle
Hans Muilerman and Jonathan Latham
EU Threatens to Legalize Human Harm From Pesticides
Binoy Kampmark
Delegitimising Journalism: The Effort to Relabel Julian Assange
Jack Rasmus
Trump Whacks the Middle Class
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
The Burning Cathedral and the Dead Turtle
Kenneth Surin
Insurgencies in Malaysia and Vietnam: Boyhood Reflections
Rev. William Alberts
Opening Tombs and Resurrecting Lives
Tom Engelhardt
How the U.S. Military Feeds at the Terror Trough
Norman Solomon
The Toxic Lure of “Guns and Butter”
George Wuerthner
How to Stop Grazing on Public Lands: Buy Out the Permits
George Ochenski
Vote-Trading for Big Coal
John Stanton
The Price of Participating in Society is the Sacrifice of Privacy and Self
April 16, 2019
Richard Rubenstein
Julian and Martin: Reflections on the Arrest of Assange
Geoff Dutton
Talking Trash: Unfortunate Truths About Recycling
Kenn Orphan
A Land Uncharted: the Persecution of Julian Assange
Patrick Cockburn
Netanyahu’s Victory in Israel Tells Us About the Balance of Power in the Middle East
Robert Fisk
No More Excuses: Israeli Voters Have Chosen a Country that Will Mirror the Brutal Regimes of its Arab Neighbours
Jonah Raskin
The French (Bread) Connection in a Bourgeois California Town
Denis Rogatyuk
The Ordeal of Julian Assange
David Swanson
Exporting Dictators
Ted Rall
Self-Censorship is Credibility Suicide
Robert Koehler
War Crimes and National Security
Lee Ballinger
None Dare Call It Fascism
April 15, 2019
Bruce Neuburger
The Border, Trumpian Madness and the Clash of Demographics
Patrick Cockburn
Calling Assange a Narcissist Misses the Point
Conn Hallinan
Diego Garcia: The “Unsinkable Carrier” Springs a Leak
Dan Corjescu
State of Apocalyptic Nature: A Contract with Gaia
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail